Join the lottery for a chance to camp free for a night in a New York city park.

IT’S THAT TIME of year again. For selected dates until August 27, the opportunity to camp free for a night in a park in one of New York’s boroughs is available. You just have to win the lottery. I tried it last year when I was in NYC for three months. I never did get picked.

The Urban Park Rangers program gives 30 spots to entrants for each event. To keep it fair, they open a 24-hour period in which anyone interested in sleeping under the stars in the city can enter the lottery online.

If it’s impossible to get online, they do take phone calls between 10am and 4pm on the day of the lottery to enter on your behalf. Phone numbers for the parks are here. Below are the remaining nights, including the lottery days (parks I’d love to camp in bolded):

Location: Cunningham Park, Queens
Camp night: July 30
24-hour lottery: July 20

Location: Central Park
Camp night: Aug. 5
24-hour lottery: July 27

Location: Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
Camp night: Aug. 5
24-hour lottery: July 27

Location: Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Camp night: Aug. 5
24-hour lottery: July 27

Location: Alley Pond Park, Queens
Camp night: Aug. 13
24-hour lottery: Aug. 3

Location: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Camp night: Aug. 19
24-hour lottery: Aug. 10

Location: Pelham Bay Park, Bronx
Camp night: Aug. 19
24-hour lottery: Aug. 10

Location: Inwood Hill Park, Manhattan
Camp night: Aug. 19
24-hour lottery: Aug. 10

Location: Wolfe’s Pond Park, Staten Island
Camp night: Aug. 19
24-hour lottery: Aug. 10

Location: Wolfe’s Pond Park, Staten Island
Camp night: Aug. 26
24-hour lottery: Aug. 17

Location: Cunningham Park, Queens
Camp night: Aug. 27
24-hour lottery: Aug. 17

Best of luck!

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